End-of-Life Care

Audio below is a short snippet from LamRimChenmo Audio teaching given by H.H. the Dalai Lama.
A short Audio, in Tibetan language, for how to care for a dying loved one by H.H. the Dalai Lama. It is very general information.
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Here are few of the highlights in English translations. Some of these messages are compiled from other sources too.

Death is a fact of life that touches everyone. Bereavement can be difficult and painful. Some people take comfort in spiritual matters and others accept it as a fact of life.

Relatives, friends and care-giver can make dying process less painful.
  • It is very unfortunate that few hospitals or nursing homes provide privacy or private room for the dying.
  • Environment for the dying should be free from disturbance and commotion.
  • Dying person should avoid negative emotions such as anger and attachments to money, food, people, fame, gadget and outfits (cloth).
  • Relatives and friends should control their emotion and provide calm environment for the dying. This means crying, sobbing and tantrum are avoided. No unpleasant sound at all.
  • Unwanted distraction is not helpful for the dying. Therefore avoid arguments, loud noise, dissents and loud music near the dying person.
  • Comforting words can help.
  • Remind the dying, if you know him well, of the good things he/she did in his/her life and magnify it or how important it was to you.
  • Remind the dying “Whatever positive karma you have, whatever good you have done, consider it immense. Remember each and every instance of goodness in your life, no matter how tiny, and think of it as immense. This will sustain you. So think about it, remember it. Even if it is negligible, imagine it as infinite.” Wrote Gehlek Rinpoche.
For a Buddhist, it is very, very important to remind the dying of his/her spiritual Guru or the Buddha. This will bring home the wondering, worried and disturbed mind. This is critical and helpful at this stage.

Today we have Audio devices, very small mp3 players, that can be worn as a necklace in which one can record DewaChen Monlam, Sevenlimbs, Tungshag, Phowa instructions, Guru’s special DamNak etc and ask someone to play it when death is near.

Note: If Tibetan language and Buddhism is troubling you then record your own voice about compassion, kindness and your good deeds in general.

If dying person has some degree of meditation practice, like Phowa, Compassion, Kindness, Emptiness, then remind him, time and again, to engage in meditative state. This is immensely important.

For serious Buddhist practice such as Dissolution of the Elements and Clear Light practice goto http://itibetan.org/webpage.php?mkt=vajrayana.txt

Above process of “reminding” someone who is at “end of life” is so powerful and important that even if someone has not made enough good merits in life he/she can fly off the hurdle with “one big push” at the time of death if “devotion or single pointed effort” is generated with very strong compassion.

Explanation is thus. Although there are events that wait in line to pass through life due to Karma, yet one incident that jumps the queue, due to “རྐྱེན། condition”, may jeopardize the “train of karmic actions” so to say. As a result one must not wait for the “karmic line-up” events to take affect but must intervene. This intervention is the process of “reminding the dying” about his/her Guru. It is really very effective method.

Following Audio is by H.H. the Dalai Lama.

Note: This audio is part of LamRimChenmo teaching given by H.H. the Dalai Lama.